Don’t Make a Scene: Traveling through Airport Security with Diabetes Supplies

Posted by sean on Thu, 11/29/2012 - 15:16 in
Can You Go Through Airport Security with Diabetes Supplies?

I never really have trouble flying with my diabetes supplies. Especially since going on the Omnipod insulin pump, I don’t have to remove anything and there’s no tubing—so no problems! That is, for the most part…

One time, I was going through security in Romania and they were a bit thrown off by my Omnipod System, PDM, and abundance of diabetes supplies. They guided me (with machine guns in hand) to a back room to strip search me. After many attempts to communicate myself, they finally realized I had this “thing” attached to me to keep me alive!

On the whole, I find that carrying diabetes supplies can be easy. I typically pack all my Pods, insulin, test strips, etc. in a separate zippered bag that I carry within my carry-on. It’s easy to grab when going through security. Because  the Pod is so discreet, I typically don’t disclose that I even have it on and it’s usually a non-issue. It’s always so nice to go through security somewhere and have someone recognize the Pod for what it is. I don’t often meet a TSA member who knows much about type 1 diabetes, but when I do—it’s great!

Here are a few tips for making sure you’re prepared while going through security:

  1. If at all possible, send your travel companion through first. They can round up their bags and then if you need to be searched, they can grab whatever items of yours that were sent through.
  2. Have a doctor’s note on hand saying that you have type 1 diabetes. Bonus points if you get the doctor to translate the letter into the language of the country you’re traveling through!
  3. Put all your diabetes medical supplies in a small bag WITHIN your carry-on. That way, they’re all compact and ready to be removed at a moment’s notice for security purposes.

And if you happen to be traveling through Bucharest, Romania, give them my best regards!